A Party for the Friends of INION

The fire at our Institute began on 30 January 2015, that is already a year ago; time runs fast.  We decided it was a good reason to organize a kind of a ‘party for our friends’ and to meet once more with our volunteers, with our sponsors, with people who granted computers to us so that we were able to continue our work soon after the catastrophe, and with our librarians as well—we work at separate buildings now, so they not so often have an opportunity to see people from the research departments.  There were not too many of us, but the party seems to have been rather good:

These are some of those books which survived at the very centre of the fire on the second floor.  We thought everything was completely lost there, but we were wrong: when the workers began to throw down the wreckage and ashes, books began to fall as well.  In the evenings, when the workers went away, our volunteers were digging those heaps of ashes and extracting what had survived.  Wish I could have taken part in it more than twice.  It was the last stage of our collaboration with volunteers, the Federal Agency of Scientific Organizations forbade us to invite them just after that.  Now the rescued books are kept at several cold storage facilities, but our librarians are taking away those which are not too wet and dry them in the survived part of our old building.  To dry all the other ones, special equipment is required, we were promised it would be bought this year 🙂

Miracles do happen, here you can see a photograph of one of them; this sheet of paper became a symbol of the whole our meeting.  A brick of burnt paper picked up by one of our librarians, opened at the only survived page.  The text is probably in the Church Slavonic, you can see the line В пламени незгорѣвшихъ—‘Those having not burnt in the fire’…

Народ начинает собираться…

People begin to come…

Зоя Юрьевна Метлицкая — сотрудница нашего отдела, непосредственно руководила работой волонтёров по спасению книг. Так что цветы — как раз от волонтёров — более чем заслуженные :-)

Zoia Metlitskaia is a researcher from our Department of History, she was organizing the work of the volunteers.

At the entrance hall we hanged a photograph of the interior of our old building right after the fire so that everyone could sign there.  Now it looks like that:

Юлия и Ася Лазаревы. Обе участвовали в откапывании книг из-под пепла. Ася — наверное, самый молодой из наших волонтёров: сейчас восемь лет, весной было ещё семь.

Julia and Asya Lazarev, they both took part in digging out books from the ashes.  Asya is probably the youngest of our volunteers: she is eight now and she was seven in spring 🙂

Пишем письмо товарищу в армию :-)

Writing a letter to our friend who is in the army now 🙂


I took this picture several days after our meeting, before we gave the books from the glass case back to our librarians.  The cactus is not a decoration at all—it’s also a ‘refugee’ from our old building, it survived not only the fire, but also a wintering in a cold room.  Now it lives in our department, and has even got some ‘babies’ 🙂